Exit poll results predicting a Narendra Modi government have triggered talk of impending change in the BCCI as well. The so-far sidelined Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA), of which Modi is president, is suddenly being seen as an influential unit of the board. And BCCI members have little doubt that Amit Shah, BJP general secretary and GCA vice-president, will replace Mumbai Cricket Association’s Ravi Savant as the BCCI’s vice-president from West Zone during the annual general body meeting in September.
GCA joint secretary Rajesh Patel said groundwork for Shah’s move to the BCCI is complete. “Shah is eligible for a vice-president’s post in the BCCI. He has attended two BCCI annual general body meetings,” Patel said.
While Shah and Modi have been busy with the BJP’s election campaign, Shah’s 27-year-old son Jay, himself a joint secretary in the GCA, has been calling the shots in the state body, and has also attended BCCI meetings.
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A top BCCI official agreed with Patel. “Shah’s entry as a BCCI vice-president is a formality, no opposition can be expected. He will surely play a decisive role in the BCCI in case Modi comes to power,” the official said.
While West Zone units Saurashtra, Baroda, Maharashtra and Mumbai have dissented against BCCI president N Srinivasan, Gujarat has remained neutral, which is likely to make Shah’s entry into the top hierarchy of the Indian board easier. The last BCCI vice-president from the GCA was Narhari Amin, a one-time Congress leader who has now joined the BJP. Interestingly, it was Amin whom Modi replaced as GCA president.
Patel said GCA will benefit from a Modi prime ministership. “If Modi becomes the PM, it will be a great and proud moment for us in the GCA. We will be getting special attention from the board,” Patel said.